WAC Tournament Odds 2022: Picks, Schedule and Preview

  • The WAC Tournament will run from Tuesday, March 8th, to Saturday, March 12th
  • New Mexico State is the favorite, but Grand Canyon has the shortest odds to win the tournament
  • See the WAC Tournament odds, seeds, bracket, and full tournament preview, below

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more evenly contested conference than the WAC in 2021-22. Three teams finished tied with the best record at 14-4 to earn a share of the conference regular season title, while another two programs ended up just a game behind.

One of those teams atop the WAC standings is New Mexico State, who’s seeking its eighth conference championship since 2011. The Aggies are the top seed, but oddsmakers have elected not to make them the betting favorite.

2022 WAC Tournament Odds

Team (Seed) Odds
Grand Canyon Antelopes (4) +225
New Mexico State Aggies (1) +275
Seattle U Redhawks (2) +500
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (3) +600
Utah Valley Wolverines (7) +600
Abilene Christian Wildcats (6) +1000
Sam Houston Bearkats (5) +1000
California Baptist Lancers (8) +3000

Odds as of March 6 at Barstool Sportsbook.

 

That honor belongs to Grand Canyon, who is the reigning conference champion. The WAC Tournament runs from Tuesday, March 8th to Saturday, March 12th in Las Vegas Nevada, with the first night’s games taking place at the Michelob Ultra Arena, and the subsequent action tipping off at the Orleans Arena.

Each of the top-two seeds get a double bye straight to the semifinals, while the third and fourth seed get a bye to the quarterfinal. That means the Antelopes will have to play an extra game than New Mexico State or Seattle U, which is just one of the reasons they’re a fade in the futures market.

Fade Grand Canyon

Installing the Antelopes as the favorite is interesting given the following. They grade out worse than the Aggies per both KenPom and the NCAA NET rankings, and were 0-2 versus New Mexico State this season. Bracketologists don’t expect them to be dancing in March, as they’re nowhere to be found in the projected NCAA Tournament bracket.

They lost convincingly both times to the Aggies, their projected semifinal opponent, and amassed fewer Quad 1 and Quad 2 victories than New Mexico State.

Grand Canyon has 1-1 versus Seattle U and Stephen F. Austin, the second and third seed, and ranked significantly worse on offense than each of the top-three teams.

The Antelopes averaged the eighth most points in conference play, while shooting the seventh highest percentage from the field. They’re ninth in assists and feature only three players who average more than 7.5 points per contest.

The reason they amassed as good a record as they did is strictly due to their defense. They’re the top scoring defense in the WAC, and rank second in the country in opponent effective field goal percentage. Only one program in all of college hoops is better at defending the three, and they also rank 25th in the country in defensive rebounds.

The problem is that their suffocating defense didn’t show up against New Mexico State in either one of their meetings. The Aggies averaged 76.5 points per game against Grand Canyon this season, which is over 16 points higher than the Antelopes surrender on a per game basis.

Given that New Mexico State is just one of four top-100 teams Grand Canyon faced all season, it’s fair to question if their strong defensive numbers are purely the product of an easy schedule.

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WAC Tournament Pick

Perhaps the reason bettors are down on the Aggies is due to the fact they lost two of their final three outings. Before you read too much into that, know that those two losses were by a combined 4 points. One of those defeats was on the road, and the other was to Stephen F. Austin, who is the WAC’s third highest graded team per KenPom.

Prior to those defeats, New Mexico State had won 19 of 21 contested games, and had they not suffered those recent setbacks, they would have likely been a significant favorite to win the WAC Tournament. That suggests their current +275 price tag is a strong value.

The Aggies are the only team most online sportsbooks list in the NCAA Tournament odds, and they’ve won seven of the past nine WAC Tournaments.

They don’t have the make-up of a projected Cinderella this month, but we don’t need them to be a contender in the Final Four odds, we just need them to get the job done this week.

New Mexico State features the WAC’s leading scorer Teddy Allen, and boasts the second highest field goal percentage in the conference. They lead the WAC in offensive rating, rank second in offensive rebounds and blocks, and third in total rebounds.

More importantly, they have fared very well against the conference’s best teams. In addition to sweeping the Antelopes, they were 2-0 against Seattle U, and also defeated Stephen F. Austin.

The post WAC Tournament Odds 2022: Picks, Schedule and Preview appeared first on Sports Betting Dime.

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Author: Renee Castillo